Olenka and the Autumn Lover to bring a touch of Polish culture


Olenka Krakus wears her Polish roots on her sleeve and in her music.
 Her band Olenka and the Autumn Lovers will be showing them an a lot of other influences at the Slice, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m.

The show had previously been scheduled for the Tongue N Groove, which has been closed due to a sale to new owners.Olenka and the Autumn Lovers Photo by Jensen Gifford

“It’s a pretty big influence for me. I started looking at my culture when I was earning my English Literature degree,” Krakus said from Thunder Bay.

“ I was born in Poland, but left with my parents when I was really young. They were fleeing from the communist regime there,” she said.

“I remember the lullabies my mother used to sing me. They were actual Polish folk songs, not communist propaganda folk, which happened a lot. A lot of those lullabies were really intense, emotional and melancholy,” she described.

She is excited about her first Western Canadian tour with the entire band —  Cellist Kelly Wallraff, violinist Sara Froese, multi-instrumentalist Simon LaRochette who alternates between guitar  and bass and numerous other instruments, bassist/ guitarist Evan Brodie and drummer Jeff Moon.

“I didn’t feel it would be right for the music to go on the road with just me and the girls. Though there are some songs with just me and the guitar,” she said.
“There are lot of harmonies in the songs and a lot of bigger arrangements with different instruments. They are very full,” she continued.

“It’s fun to go on stage and play them in front of an audience and watching them get excited about them and moving to them. That’s a real treat for us,” she said.
 She has never played a solo show in Lethbridge and is looking forward to it, having heard good things about the city from other musicians.

She enjoys playing smaller towns and cities and is always impressed by the thriving arts scene in some of them.
“ I don’t know a lot about Lethbridge, so everybody will have to come out and show us what it is all about,” she said.

 The music is a range of genres  with a variety of influences including  country, country rock and folk to traditional Polish — everything between Gillian Welsh to Wilco with even elements of Gang Of Four.

“There are a range of styles. It’s traditional country folk rock,” she said.
“People are very melancholy today and they don’t understand why. So I wanted to explore that through my music,” she said.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 August 2011 11:51 )